NFC West: Roger Allen III
Players on practice squads earn $5,200 per week for the 2010 season. The collective bargaining agreement sets the following parameters for eligibility:
- Players without an accrued season of NFL experience;
- Free-agent players who were on the 45-man active list for fewer than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season;
- Players who have not served more than two previous seasons on a practice squad.
According to the CBA, "A player shall be deemed to have served on a practice squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's practice squad for at least three regular-season or postseason games during his first two practice squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third practice squad season."
What about bye weeks? More CBA: "A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular-season or postseason weekend in question."
The first chart shows eligible players released by the Arizona Cardinals. Chris Johnson, Alfonso Smith and Mark Washington were waived/injured. Dean Muhtadi was released from injured reserve.
The second chart shows eligible players released by the Rams.
The third chart shows eligible players released by the 49ers (Brandon Long was released with an injury settlement).
The fourth chart shows eligible players released by the Seahawks (Jonathan Lewis was released with an injury settlement).
- The only breaks the Rams seem to catch on their offensive line are the ones they find through X-rays. Starting left tackle Rodger Saffold was the latest victim. He left practice Monday with a back injury of unknown severity. A teammate fell into Saffold's back while Saffold was blocking. Trainers tended to Saffold while the rookie sat on the grass with his legs outstretched. They brought him to his feet and then wrapped his midsection (presumably with ice). Saffold walked off the field slowly and appeared to be favoring his left side (he wears a knee brace on his right leg).
Sam Bradford's timing and accuracy jump out right away. Seven-on-seven drills look like an extension of his pro day. Sometimes the ball arrives on target before the safeties can turn around. There is no pass-rush during seven-on-seven drills, of course.
- Bradford and veteran A.J. Feeley split the first- and second-team reps equally, a slight change designed to get more work for Feeley as the season approaches.
- Defensive end Victory Adeyanju did not finish practice after injuring his left knee. The severity of the injury was not yet known. Adeyanju is a strong run defender.
- The linebackers fared better than the running backs during blitz-pickup drills.
- Veteran safety Oshiomogho Atogwe spent extra time after practice working on catching the ball. He dropped one potential interception and failed to fully break up another pass (the ball bounced into the arms of its intended receiver, Darcy Johnson, for a touchdown).
- Coach Steve Spagnuolo focuses on much more than just the defense. He was in the offensive huddle between plays during a goal-line period. He was also taking a special interest in pass-protection work after the line struggled to protect Bradford during the game Saturday night.
- Rookie receiver Mardy Gilyard did not play for the Boston Celtics during the 1980s, but the Larry Bird shorts he wears during practice would have fit in back then. Gilyard has his own style and flair. He's been hurt recently, but he was practicing Monday and looks the part (minus those shorts).
- Players benefited from temperatures in the 80s, some 20 degrees cooler than highs earlier in camp. Temperatures on the artificial field can hit 140 degrees when the St. Louis weather is at its hottest.
- Despite the favorable weather, Spagnuolo said he thought the team was still a little sluggish. That is typical for the first practice following a game.
- Running back Steven Jackson is moving well. I could see no evidence of the back surgery he underwent this offseason. If anything, Jackson appears even fresher than normal. He did not play Saturday night and the team has limited his full-contact work. Jackson looked great catching a one-handed pass over the middle in stride.
- Two outstanding individual plays I saw: guard Roger Allen III putting defensive tackle Clifton Ryan on his back, and rookie defensive end Hall Davis pushing down tackle Eric Young (to the point that Young fell into Feeley's legs, forcing the quarterback to move).
- Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis stood out with an interception off Feeley early in practice and a successful pass-rush battle against running back Kenneth Darby.
The Rams have two practices Tuesday. I'll be at both and hope to get a better feel for the team as the week progresses.
Warming up isn't necessary outside, where temperatures have hit triple digits. The temperature gauge on my rental car showed the motor was already warm at startup.
The St. Louis Rams have continued with two-a-day practices anyway, some with live tackling. The team has been more apt to move practices inside to avoid lightning than to avoid heat during a particularly hot St. Louis summer. I thought the Rams held the most physical camp in the NFC West last summer despite perceptions about the San Francisco 49ers under Mike Singletary. Sounds like the Rams are holding to form this summer, too.
This just in: The Rams' list of players not in uniform includes kicker Josh Brown, receiver Brandon Gibson, cornerback Justin King, cornerback Bradley Fletcher, guard Jacob Bell, guard John Greco, defensive end Eugene Sims, running back Steven Jackson, safety James Butler defensive end James Hall and defensive end C.J. Ah You. The Minnesota Vikings' list features Favre, receiver Percy Harvin, receiver Sidney Rice, cornerback Cedric Griffin, linebacker J Leman, cornerback John Sullivan and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.
The Rams' Roger Allen is starting for Bell at right guard. The Vikings' Greg Lewis is starting for Harvin. Lito Sheppard replaces Asher Allen at right cornerback.Jimmy Kleinsasser starts instead of Shiancoe. Jon Cooper starts in place of Sullivan at center.
The new trainer, Reggie Scott, was hired from the Carolina Panthers in part to create an atmosphere and trust level that would more fully engage players to rehabilitate at the Rams' facility during the offseason. Panthers receiver Steve Smith and former Panthers defensive end Julius Jones recommended Scott highly as a trainer who made players feel comfortable. Spagnuolo alluded to that subject Tuesday when telling reporters he expected most of the team's injured -- notably running back Steven Jackson -- to participate in training camp from the beginning.
"I think Reggie and his group did a great, tremendous job in the offseason here, this break," Spagnuolo told reporters. "These guys were in here working."
The team might proceed somewhat cautiously with Jackson, at least for a while. The Pro Bowl runner underwent back surgery after suffering a herniated disk.
"He’s somewhat cleared to go," Spagnuolo said. "We want the doctors to look at him one more time, but he feels great. Probably, only because it’s a back, we’ll tread lightly. But I think he’ll do most everything."
Spagnuolo said the Rams would "be smart about it" when determining how much Jackson would play during the exhibition season. The Rams are hopeful that injured players Roger Allen, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Daniel Fells, Bradley Fletcher, Jason Smith, Jacob Bell, Chris Massey and Rodger Saffold will be healthy enough to practice.
Seattle: The Seahawks have reportedly reached agreement with punter Jon Ryan on a contract extension. I'm sure Ryan appreciates the photo choice here.
St. Louis: Rams rookie guard Roger Allen III suffered a torn ACL in Week 17, the team announced. He will rehab for a month before undergoing surgery. Allen was not a projected starter this season. He made his way into the lineup after injuries to several linemen forced the Rams to dig deep into their depth.
San Francisco: Pretty quiet so far Tuesday.
Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat profiles 49ers coach Mike Singletary. Cohn: "He is a man who sees his life as a moral life -- as a moral tale, and he is the protagonist of that tale. He wears that large cross (he laughingly disputes that it’s large) as a reminder of whom he serves and what kind of man he was called on to be. He represents an approach to life, and the cross is a symbol of that approach."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says several 49ers players could be playing their final game with the team. Beyond Isaac Bruce, "other 49ers who will enter the offseason not knowing if they'll be back include cornerbacks Dre' Bly and Walt Harris, safety Mark Roman and offensive tackles Barry Sims and Tony Pashos."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers are forcing more turnovers. They have more athleticism on the field now that Ahmad Brooks and Dashon Goldson are getting significant playing time.
David Fucillo of Niners Nation says several 49ers players are nearing statistical milestones. On Frank Gore: "Gore needs one more 100-yard game to tie Joe Perry for the most in 49ers history (19). He's also 82 yards from passing Garrison Hearst for fourth on the 49ers all-time rushing list. We've seen his solid receiving skills in play over the years, and he continues climbing the ranks. He's currently 29th in receiving yards and 15th in receptions. I doubt he'll match Roger Craig's career receiving numbers, but he's certainly doing well for himself."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals think they are in rhythm offensively and close to hitting on all cylinders. That could make their game against Green Bay even less important, particularly if the Vikings beat the Giants. Somers: "It's questionable how much of their offensive skills the Cardinals (10-5) and Packers (10-5) will choose to display Sunday. The teams probably will meet in the first round of the playoffs next weekend at University of Phoenix Stadium, so much of their game-planning this week has been geared toward that game. The season finale means little to the Packers, who are going to be the fifth or sixth seed. It will be significant for the Cardinals only if the Giants beat the Vikings earlier in the day. That would give the Cardinals a shot at the No. 2 seed and a bye, provided the Cowboys beat the Eagles, a game that will start at 2:15, the same time as the Cardinals and Packers contest."
Also from Somers: The Cardinals are getting to the quarterback by committee. Twelve players have sacks this season.
More from Somers: Antrel Rolle will not play for the Cardinals if the No. 2 seed is not within reach.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times wonders what's at stake for the Seahawks in their final game of a lost season. Brewer: "This is a team full of people with uncertain futures. With the Seahawks searching for a new general manager, coach Jim Mora doesn't want to end his first season with four straight losses and a perception that he lost this team. After throwing eight interceptions in the past two weeks, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck doesn't want to end this season with even more question marks. With an expected roster overhaul looming, the reality is a lot of Seahawks are auditioning for their next jobs."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks' ground game has shown signs of life in recent weeks. Williams: "After twice setting franchise-worst records for rushing yards in a game this season, Seattle has averaged 121.5 yards a contest and 4.58 yards a carry in the past, two games. However, most of those yards were accumulated in first halves, with Seattle having to abandon the run because of falling behind and needing to score quickly to get back into the games."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune asks whether the Seahawks' poor season should have been expected. Situations involving Walter Jones, Mike Wahle, Marcus Trufant, T.J. Duckett, Edgerrin James, Aaron Curry and a new offensive playbook might have foreshadowed problems.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team is focused on preventing Chris Johnson from topping 2,000 yards rushing for the season.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have reached a crossroads with their fans. Executive Kevin Demoff: "This organization for too long has taken fans for granted, has not paid enough attention to sponsors in the community and to making sure that people were invested in the club. If people are invested in the club, winning will help. But I think it's easy to throw your hands up and say, 'Well, if the club was winning, people would go.' It's our challenge to make sure that people want to go, win or lose. They may have a better time if we win."
Also from Thomas: New starting Rams guard Roger Allen III lines up against a strong 49ers defensive front.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Bruce's return to the Edward Jones Dome recalls the Rams' glory days. Burwell: "Bruce will be on the field before the game as an honorary captain. Of course, there will be cheers. Probably polite and passionate, long enough to recognize that the 45,000 diehards who braved the frigid weather to watch an otherwise uneventful game still remember how good it used to be, and how big a deal Bruce was in his heyday here. The sad thing is, it just won't be the same."
B.J. Rains of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat checks in with Allen before the rookie's first NFL start. Rains: "The rookie, who said he likely would have gone to either Illinois, Kansas or Missouri out of high school had his ACT scores been higher, graduated as the best lineman ever to play at Missouri Western. He started all 12 games as a freshman at offensive guard and became the first -- and only -- offensive lineman to be named Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Freshman of the Year."
Jim Rodenbush of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says the Rams need to beat the 49ers to avoid the worst record in franchise history. Defensive coordinator Ken Flajole sees a 49ers team that has improved since beating the Rams 35-0 earlier in the season. Flajole: "It is for three reasons -- the back [Gore] being back and healthy. The wide receiver [Crabtree] gives them another added dimension, and the quarterback is playing good, too. They are little bit different, so we’ve got our hands full. They have gotten better."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams appear to be playing coy, again, as to which quarterback will start for them. Also, the team expects Roger Allen to start at guard after Mark Setterstrom suffered a torn triceps.
Also from Coats: Another week, another new guard in the lineup.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Matt Hasselbeck is eager to get back on the field after tossing eight interceptions in two games. Coach Jim Mora: "The guy’s a competitor -- a great competitor. It kills him when his football team is not winning. He’s the quarterback, so he takes a lot of the credit when things are going well and responsibility when things aren’t going well. Knowing Matt, and how serious he is about his craft, he’s just going to do everything he can to try to win. Sometimes that means forcing the ball in there."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times wonders where Mora stands after losing three consecutive games by a combined 106-24 score.
Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune says Mora is defending his team's effort level. Mora: "Effort is not an issue. People are always going to bring up the question of effort when you get beat bad. That is not an issue, not at all."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Hasselbeck is trying to do too much. Boling: "Is Matt Hasselbeck what’s wrong with this team? Recently, he’s been a very clear part of the problem. But I definitely think this level of play is the result of circumstances, and the remedial roster. And, truly, of trying to do too much."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic expects the Cardinals to face the Packers in the wild-card round, raising a dilemma for coach Ken Whisenhunt. Somers: "If the Cardinals end up playing the Packers in consecutive games, Whisenhunt would have to conduct a risk-benefit analysis. Is winning an 11th game and the possibility of improving the seeding worth selling out to beat an opponent that the Cardinals are likely to play again the following week? How much will he play quarterback Kurt Warner? Or players hobbled with injuries? Whisenhunt is aware of all the questions to be considered. He doesn't have the answers yet, or prefers to keep them to himself. The final decisions might not be made until Sunday afternoon."
Also from Somers: The Cardinals have a shot at the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals appear to be rounding into playoff form. Anquan Boldin has led the team in receiving yardage five times in the past seven games.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Whisenhunt wasn't as upset with the Cardinals' offensive line after studying the pass protection against St. Louis in Week 16. Whisenhunt: "We just have to be a little more aware, like we did against Minnesota, that we give those guys some help in certain situations as far as chips or body presence. I’m not disappointed at all in the way those guys played. I was upset after the game because my perception of how our line played was not what it actually was. If you look at how Levi [Brown] played and how physical he was and some of the things he did in protection, I actually was impressed with how he played and Jeremy [Bridges], for the most part, did a nice job."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are pointing to Ahmad Brooks and Dashon Goldson as reasons for a rise in opponents' turnovers.
Also from Barrows: Vernon Davis likes his chances for the Pro Bowl. Davis: "I can block better than any tight end in the conference, and my statistics are there in the passing game. I mean, why not?" Other tight ends have more receptions this season, but Davis has more touchdowns and more big plays. The 49ers have not asked him to help in pass protection nearly as much this season, but Davis has previously shown an ability to block some defensive ends without help.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers realize they should be scoring more points off turnovers. Coach Mike Singletary: "Our offense continues to evolve. Going into this last game, hopefully, we can put it all together. This offseason will be the first time ever that anybody on offense has a coordinator or has a consistently going into the offseason. Hopefully, next year will be a lot better."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News looks at potential Pro Bowl choices for San Francisco.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says Patrick Willis realizes tackle statistics can be overrated.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers a postgame Rams report card featuring a "B" grade for the Rams' defensive line and lower grades for the other positional groups. Coats: "Strong outings by Chris Long, Victor Adeyanju and rookie Darell Scott. LaJuan Ramsey forced a fumble when he sacked Kurt Warner. Long had a sack and two quarterback hits. Pretty good showing vs. the run. Cards averaged just 3.4 yards on 32 carries."
Also from Coats: a closer look at rookie quarterback Keith Null's performance.
More from Coats: Chris Ogbonnaya, Roger Allen and Cord Parks made their regular-season NFL debuts. Allen couldn't wait to call his fiance after the game. Allen: "I've set foot on an NFL field. It feels amazing to finally get in there and help the team."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Rams starter Jonathan Wade has fallen so far that the team isn't even using the cornerback in its dime defense. The Cardinals used four wide receivers to help break open the game in the second quarter. Ken Whisenhunt: "I felt like it was the best personnel group matching up against them because of their injuries and losing some players in the secondary. We thought it might be the best way to give us the advantage."
Also from Thomas: Null struggled against the Cardinals. Running back Steven Jackson wasn't there to help carry the load, sitting out for the first time this season. Jackson: "The back was just giving me a lot of problems. It wasn't loosening up. There was pain down my leg. So it was all clear signs telling me that I wasn't ready to go. Signs that I wasn't having in previous weeks."
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says the Rams' lack of talent jumped out Sunday. Balzer: "Consider that of the 45 players active for Sunday’s game, 30 entered the league as either a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick or an undrafted free agent. That includes four sixth-round picks, 10 seventh-rounders and an astounding 16 players that went undrafted. Of the eight players inactive, five were undrafted, meaning 35 of 53 players entered the league after the fifth round."
Their inactive players include quarterback Marc Bulger, defensive back Danny Gorrer, fullback Mike Karney, offensive lineman Roger Allen III, guard Richie Incognito, tackle Jason Smith, receiver Jordan Kent and running back Chris Ogbonnaya.
Not having Karney hurts the running game. I would expect more reps for third receiver Danny Amendola and second tight end Daniel Fells.
Adam Goldberg starts for Smith at right tackle. Mark Setterstrom starts at right guard.
Thanks to Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com for passing along the info.
That makes their fourth wideout more valuable than most. Early Doucet has replaced Jerheme Urban in that role recently. Urban did not play in Week 10. The Cardinals named him inactive Sunday.
The decision makes some sense. While Urban was effective, the team needs to find out whether Doucet, a 2008 third-round choice, can help the offense. Anquan Boldin's future with the team is uncertain beyond this season. Developing Doucet could help this season even if Boldin remains with the team. The team also knows Urban will be ready if called upon.
Also inactive for Arizona: safety Rashad Johnson, linebacker Chike Okeafor, tackle Herman Johnson, guard Brandon Keith, tight end Stephen Spach and tight end Dominique Byrd. Brian St. Pierre is the third quarterback.
The Rams' inactive list features cornerback Danny Gorrer, linebacker Dominic Douglas, guard Roger Allen III, tackle Phil Trautwein, guard Richie Incognito, receiver Jordan Kent and defensive end C.J. Ah You, who appears headed for injured reserve. Keith Null is the third quarterback.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rams will be without injured top cornerback Ron Bartell for the first time this season.
The Rams have named Bartell among their inactive players along with Nate Jones, James Butler, Roger Allen III, Jason Smith, Victor Adeyanju and Darell Scott. Marc Bulger is the third quarterback.
The 49ers have named return specialist Allen Rossum inactive along with Frank Gore, Curtis Taylor, Reggie Smith, Cody Wallace and Ricky Jean-Francois. Nate Davis is the third quarterback. That means receivers Jason Hill and Brandon Jones are both active. Perhaps we'll see the 49ers use a few more multiple-receiver personnel groups.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic senses the Cardinals are about to awake following a sleepy preseason. Bickley: "From an Arizona perspective, the worst preseason imaginable might be the best thing that's ever happened to this team. Warner said the team was successful only in "embarrassing ourselves" and, fortunately, it seems like a missing fire suddenly has returned. A rebound performance in Week 1 atones for everything."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with Ben Claxton and other Cardinals players feeling fortunate to have landed spots on the team's initial 53-man roster. Somers: "After signing contracts with eight teams, spending two seasons in NFL Europe and two seasons out of football, Claxton survived the final cut of training camp for the first time."
Also from Somers: The Cardinals' 2008 opening-day starters have now been cut by two other teams.
More from Somers: Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson wasn't biting when asked about matching up with 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. "Who?" Wilson asked. Somers also explains how Herman Johnson's emergence at backup right tackle gives the Cardinals the flexibility to move Levi Brown to left tackle if something happens to starter Mike Gandy.
More yet from Somers: Anquan Boldin is resting a hamstring injury.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Larry Fitzgerald is eager to open up the playbook and play to the Cardinals' offensive strengths.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com takes an early look at the Cardinals heading into the season opener. Price: "The Cardinals held the 49ers to an average of 18.5 points per game in the team’s two meetings last season and they’d like to continue that trend this Sunday when the teams kick-off the 2009 regular season."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee singles out receiver Josh Morgan as a player to watch on the 49ers this season. Barrows: "Josh Morgan is a 220-pound wide receiver who can run 40 yards in less than 4.4 seconds. He's the best leaper on the 49ers, a strong blocker in the running game, and he's an infrequent visitor to the training room."
Also from Barrows: The 49ers need Dashon Goldson to force turnovers.
More from Barrows: Allen Rossum came up big for the 49ers in the return game last season.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks confirmed Lawyer Milloy's role as a backup to Jordan Babineaux, as expected. Milloy: "I'm trying to get in and fit in. If I have to be a backup, that's what I have to do. I'll accept that role. As a backup, you're always pushing to be the starter. It was like that my rookie year and it's going to be like that now."
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Milloy worked out for the Lions last week, but Seattle was his preference all the way. Defensive backs coach Tim Lewis after Milloy's first practice: "I thought he did a great job. He's very smart. He’s experienced. He's easy to get him acclimated to our defensive system. We have that Gus Bradley system, and it's one that requires the safety to be smart, instinctive and a good feel player."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams players who felt fortunate to earn roster spots. One of them, David Roach, set up his family as though the Rams had cut him, only to surprise them with the good news. Of course, roster spots can be fleeting and the Rams will adjust their personnel.
Also from Thomas: Adam Carriker's shoulder surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. Recovery time is expected to be four months. Carriker said he suffered a 75 percent tear of the subscapularis muscle.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says rookie guard Roger Allen III found it "eerie" to see friends' names removed from lockers at Rams Park.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says new Rams defensive lineman LaJuan Ramsey focused on football after his preferred sport, swimming, became an unrealistic one to pursue. Coats: "He was a swimmer, a 50-meter sprinter, but his size -- he's 6-feet-3 and 300 pounds -- wasn't exactly suited for the pool."
Brian Stull of 101ESPN St. Louis details the Rams' plans for Marc Bulger this week.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are taking a "long look" at former Jaguars starting tackle Tony Pashos. Barrows: "The 49ers are looking at Pashos as a right tackle. They signed Marvel Smith in the offseason to play that position, but Smith's bad back never returned to normal, and he retired last month. As of now, Adam Snyder is the starter with Barry Sims backing him up."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says "none of the players [the 49ers] cut on Saturday was claimed off waivers today, including [Kory] Sheets. And the 49ers did not make any waivers claims, either. However, the 49ers might still be interested in adding a veteran or two for insurance."
Also from Maiocco: The 49ers view Pashos as a backup right tackle. Pashos sees the 49ers as where he might find the best chance at playing time. Maiocco: "The 49ers scouted Pashos’ final exhibition game. Although Pashos (6-foot-6, 326 pounds) started and played the first half of the Jaguars’ game Thursday against Washington at right guard, the 49ers envision him as a backup right tackle."
Cameron Hollway, writing for the Amarillo Globe-News, checks in with quarterback Keith Null after the rookie earned a spot on the Rams' initial 53-man roster. Null: "Man, it's such a blessing to have made it. It's sort of a hard feeling to explain. I've worked so hard to get here, and to reach that goal is just so special." Null and the man he beat out, Brock Berlin, both had practice-squad eligibility. The Rams have not signed a quarterback to their practice squad.
Allen Meyer of stjoenews.com checks in with Roger Allen's former college coach after the undrafted rookie earned a spot on the Rams' initial 53-man roster. With John Greco sidelined by wrist surgery in the short term, the Rams were one of only six teams carrying more than nine offensive linemen Sunday night. They had only four receivers. Those holding down spots on the fringes of the roster could remain vulnerable as the Rams add depth where it's needed most.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who hasn't let contract issues sour his mood.
John Morgan of Field Gulls says the Seahawks' defense fully reflects general manager Tim Ruskell, and that Ruskell's future in Seattle depends on how well that defense performs. Morgan: "The parts have been good individually, but never great together. Until now the talent and the coaching staff were at odds. This year, they are united by the vision of one man. Seattle's defense is now Tim Ruskell's living resume. In one week, this ship sets out to sea. It will float or it will sink. It will take this season somewhere wonderful or drag us all to a watery grave. The hull, keel, masts, crew and captain were picked by Ruskell as was the sail. We are below deck, cargo. Now we await the wind."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks plan to sign Mike Hass and (reportedly) Logan Payne to their practice squad
Also from O'Neil: An advance look at the Rams-Seahawks game in Week 1.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt remains confident in his team following some shaky moments during the exhibition season. Whisenhunt: "I had a friend who said his son was torn up because we didn’t do well in preseason because he really didn’t understand what preseason was all about. I think with the general public, that’s the perception, and I understand that. All I can say is I feel good about our team and what we have done and where we are."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says former Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco, released Friday, plans to sign a one-year deal with the Colts. Somers: "Francisco is a vested veteran, so he wasn’t subject to the waiver process. He was traveling to Indianapolis on Sunday and is expected to begin practice with the Colts this week, said his agent, Max Hannemann."
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Rams held one more offensive lineman and one fewer running back than usual on their initial reduction to the 53-man roster limit.
That's easy to see once we compare current positional roster counts to Week 1 totals for the Rams since 2003. That's what the chart accomplishes.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pointed to tackle Eric Young, guard Roger Allen III, defensive end C.J. Ah You, receiver Nate Jones and safety David Roach as "long shots" who survived the latest wave of cuts. The term "long shots" is a relative term. The Rams are rebuilding and their roster isn't as strong as it will become if the organization maintains continuity and makes wise decisions. I think it's unlikely any of those five players would have earned initial spots with the other teams in the division. It's unclear how much longer they might last with the Rams. Expect additional moves.
Equivalent charts for the 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals ran earlier.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Rams' roster requires additional study after a thorough house-cleaning this offseason. With so many new faces, I feel less familiar with the Rams than with the other teams in the division. This initial look at the roster will hopefully help bring some focus.
Donnie Avery's injury and overall health concerns at receiver could influence how many players the Rams carry into the season at the position.
Marc Bulger's broken pinky shouldn't affect the roster as long as he recovers on schedule. Teams must reduce to 75 players by Sept. 1 and 53 players by Sept. 5. Those initial 53-man rosters sometimes change by Week 1 kickoffs. For that reason, I've been focusing on Week 1 rosters when setting baseline expectations for each position.
he chart provides a framework for how many players the Rams might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Seahawks.
Here's a quick look at which Rams players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players: